Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
RaciolinguisticsHow Language Shapes Our Ideas About Race$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

H. Samy Alim, John R. Rickford, and Arnetha F. Ball

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190625696

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190625696.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 June 2021

Who’s Afraid of the Transracial Subject?

Who’s Afraid of the Transracial Subject?

Raciolinguistics and the Political Project of Transracialization

(p.33) 1 Who’s Afraid of the Transracial Subject?

H. Samy Alim

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, I argue for a new way of thinking about race—transracialization. I analyze Barack Obama’s linguistic styleshifting as well as my own raciolinguistic practices (an autoethnographic account of being racialized nine different ways over the span of five days) in order to demonstrate that, rather than stable and predetermined, racial identities can shift across contexts and even within specific interactions. Analyzing these raciolinguistic practices allows us to imagine the possibilities for destabilizing hegemonic and oppressive processes of racial categorization. Drawing on Pennycook’s (2007) reworking of linguistic theories of translation and Pollock’s (2005) analysis of race talk dilemmas, I put forth the “transracial subject” as transgressive because crossing borders becomes central to disrupting the “ontologies” upon which definitions of race rest. Rather than doing away with the concept of “race” altogether, however, I work towards a “transracial politics” that necessitates the alternative subversion and maintenance of racial categorization.

Keywords:   transracialization, language, race, racism, identity, style, styleshifting, raciolinguistic practices

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .